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Iain Duncan Smith Attacks Step-Parents

November 3, 2012

I dedicate this post to loving step-parents everywhere.

In a speech on Wednesday, Iain Duncan Smith said something unbelievable. This is nothing unusual- Iain Duncan Smith has said more unbelievable things since he’s joined the DWP than I own pairs of socks.

It is what he said that has got me so upset. He was speaking about families, and he did make some good points.

When families are strong and stable, he said quite rightly, so are children.

But when things go wrong in families, he added, quite rightly again, the impact on a child’s life can be devastating.

It is what he plans to do about it that is so unbelievable. He plans to measure the proportion of children living with the same parents from birth- in order to drive home the message that social programmes should promote family stability and avert breakdown.

So, what’s wrong with what he said? There are many wonderful step parents out there who willingly support and love their stepchildren. Stepfamilies may not live together from the birth of children, but they can be just as strong and stable as any biological, nuclear, traditional family. In some cases, stepfamilies are stronger. Some children find more stability, love and support from a stepparent than they would get from a biological one.

Some children may stop living with one of their biological parents after a family breakdown, but the parent may remain a very important part of their lives and still provide them with a great deal of love and support.

The main reason I’m writing this piece is that many studies have shown that families with disabled children are more likely to break up.

Some parents (particularly, but not always, fathers) of disabled children are unable to deal with their child’s disability.

Some fathers of disabled children choose not to remain a part of the child’s life, and do not support the mother, who is often the child’s carer, in any way.

The most famous example of such a disabled child is Harvey Price, son of Katie. After the end of her relationship with Harvey’s biological father, Katie Price was lucky enough to meet and marry Peter Andre who did (and by all reports still does, even though the marriage has now ended) love Harvey and treat him as his own son.

There are many more, sadly less famous, disabled children whose parents have remarried wonderful people who have done exactly the same thing.

In some very sad cases, parents die before their children reach adulthood. Is Iain Duncan Smith really suggesting that remarriage in such cases would not provide children with stability?

Does Iain Duncan Smith really think that a woman who is being physically abused by the man she has married should stay married to such a man ‘for the sake of the children,’ who may well also be being physically abused?

It is easy to understand that Iain Duncan Smith is a supporter of marriage. However, I do not share his view that it is necessary for any child to live with both biological parents from birth to adulthood in order to have a stable life.

As the saying goes, any man can be a father, but not every man can be a dad. Iain Duncan Smith needs to realise that children need mums and dads, not just mothers and fathers. And the love of mums and dads is far too strong and deep to measure in statistics.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2012 7:34 pm

    Very well said Sarah. You are so right in saying that it takes moms and dads to bring up children with true love and not just mothers and fathers. I think and I believe if you ask Sekar she will probably agree she has more love from me as a step father than she ever got from her real father…I hope and pray I can be there for Sekar all through her life or at least until she has her own family..

  2. The Infamous Culex permalink
    November 3, 2012 7:58 pm

    How long will it be, before bonkers baldilocks demands that everyone in England converts to the Papist church?

  3. Jill. permalink
    November 4, 2012 11:44 am

    I am so sick of this man. He’s making my life unbareable. I’m chronically sick & disabled & about to lose my home. I really hate him.

  4. Kay Fabe permalink
    November 4, 2012 4:49 pm

    What on Earth went wrong when Iain Duncan-Smith was being brought up?

    • love1salluneed permalink
      November 7, 2012 1:05 am

      His was a poor sad upbringing, Dad was away playing with his toys and Mummy was busy with her gardens, so poor lad was shoved into all boys only school from such an impressionable age. Once in boarding school, he was isolated and lonely and fell into unhealthy habits with other lonely lads who left scribbled notes under pillows and in the showers. This made him long for dear Nanny. Nanny was always there, but Mummy was emotional absent and daddy was physically absent and it turned the poor lad’s head.

      A.Story

  5. brambly permalink
    November 4, 2012 6:23 pm

    We’re an adoptive family. We agree with you! It;s not our child’s fault he had to be adopted and it’s not ours either. (In our case it’s no one’s ‘fault’ as far as I can see, just a big mess up). If any families should count as ‘stable’ adoptive families should be on that list. But no one should be making lists, they should be supporting the families who struggle.

  6. November 5, 2012 8:41 pm

    Iain Duncan Smith always talks nonsense and always has done

Trackbacks

  1. A Terminally Ill (Step) Father’s Love Letter To (Step) Daughter, 5 | Same Difference
  2. IDS Doesn’t Know What Child Poverty Is | Same Difference

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